07:14AM, Thursday 31 January 2013
One of UK's most prestigious schools has been unveiled as the new sponsor for Holyport College.
Eton College has announced it will be supporting the new free school which is set to open in 2014.
As sponsor it will work to develop a close link between the two educational sites.
This will include allowing Holyport College to use its sporting facilities, organising activities between the two schools and providing educational expertise to staff.
It will also see staff from the Eton-based school sit on Holyport College's governing board and have an involvement in other school bodies.
Co-founder of Holyport College, Simon Dudley, said he was delighted with the sponsorship. "A lot of work has gone into this," he added. "Eton is a fantastic school and has a huge amount of things to bring to Holyport College.
The new free school will be built on the vacant Holyport Manor site in Ascot Road. It will provide up to 500 places for 11-19 co-educational day and boarding pupils. Places would be free for day pupils but boarders will pay up to £4,000 a term, though bursaries will be available.
Eton College headteacher, Tony Little, said he believed the close proximity of the new free school to Eton provided a real opportunity. "We look forward to sharing a number of our facilities and activities and developing educational initiatives for the benefit of pupils of both colleges," he added.
Maidenhead MP Theresa May welcomed Eton College's involvement. The Home Secretary said: "It is great that local children in the state sector will have the chance to benefit from the expertise of Eton College, and I hope that we can see similar partnerships extending across the country."
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